Your Kids Want More Time
Part 4 of 5!
The Back Story: Prompted by an invitation to write a blog post for a fathers’ theme series, I decided to ask my own adult children about their experiences of his parenting. This series if 5 Tips From a Seasoned Dad is based on that event.
Would you like to know what your children will think about your parenting in 10 years? I know.
My wife and I have four children, three girls, one boy – two hers, two mine – all from previous marriages. They are all four healthy, employed and not living in our house. Yes, I am the most successful Dad on the planet.
Last year, in the time between Mother’s day and Father’s Day (also known as the demilitarized parental zone), I wrote an email to the children and asked the question:
“What are 3 things you (or someone you know – wink, wink) wish your ‘dad’ had talked more about or helped you with? What in your growing up years would you wish more of from your dad? Oh, and I need this by Friday!”
Interestingly enough, all four of my adult children responded. From their feedback, I’ve compiled a list of 5 Tips for Parents to Consider. We started with #1 – I wish Dad had talked more about his childhood and relationship with his family, #2- I’m glad my dad showed me simple car maintenance and #3- More “Hard Stuff Talks”, now turn to #4…
4. More time.
Our children always seem to wish for more time with us. This one came across in several comments. Let me point out that there is a myth running around out there that time spent with kids should be quality time over quantity. That it is really not about the amount of time we spend but the amount of quality time that we spend with our kids. Bull! FOUL I cry! Our children need our time, in buckets! Pour yourself on them. Those serendipitous moments that often get labeled as quality time are usually accidental occurrences, stuff we can’t plan for or orchestrate during the time we spend with our children. My daughter remembers, the times I sat on the floor with her and played blocks. We built mazes, castles and houses. Honestly, half the time my mind was somewhere else – racing through the worries and tasks of adult life – but to her, it was memorable life-building stuff. We all recall the times we laughed uncontrollably together or the silly way the dog slid across the floor and into the sofa, but that moment was only the byproduct of the time spent together. Spend lots of time with your children. It still won’t be enough, but some of the stuff they want and need will sneak in.
We wrap things up next week with our big #5 Parenting Tip from a Seasoned Dad. This one is the ultimate…so see you next week.